New firmware: OpenWare v21.0

New firmware version for Lich, Magus, Wizard and Alchemist available now!

The big new feature in this release is thanks to revamped USB drivers:
USB Audio Microphone (audio source) support!

This means that after a firmware upgrade, when you plug the USB into your computer (Mac, Win, or Linux) the device will show up as a stereo, 48kHz audio microphone. With this audio interface you can stream audio from the analogue inputs to your computer.

This is the first step towards a more fully fledged and flexible USB Audio functionality which will hopefully soon support audio in both directions. We’ve had one report of occasional glitches in the audio (hello @antisvin!), which we’ve not been able to reproduce and diagnose, so hoping that wider testing will help us pin that down. It has been working flawlessly for several other test users, including myself.

The full change list is:


  • Updated USB audio driver
  • Fix USB audio mic driver Windows support
  • Added PATCH_BUTTON_ON/OFF MIDI controls
  • Don’t raise errors for incomplete SysEx messages (Mac OS)
  • Added patch resource support
  • Refactor subproject code and Owl class
  • Added background tasks
  • Created background tasks for MIDI SysEx message batches
  • New Magus resource menu [edit]

There’s also a new menu with resource browser in Magus UI and ability to override its LED tables! Totally forgotten in changelog!


Ah yes and that - thanks @antisvin!

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Great job guys!!!

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WOW, thank you! I am really looking forward to beeing able to use the Lich as audio interface together with VCV rack.


Hi !
Awsome news !
But unfortunatly it did not work with my devices… :frowning:
With ipad mini 2 on iOS7, with iPhone 6 on IOS 12 and with Windows 10, i have the same issue with my Lich : a cycling « bit crusher » noise is always on top of the signal… i tryed with and without my usb keyboard plugged into the Lich host usb but nothing change, the only thing that affect it, is unplug and plug the lich again, then the signal is normal for about 10 seconds then the weird noises come back.

Anyway, i’ m sure you will make it work soon enough, i just wanted to give you the feedback !
As you can probably gués, english is not my birth language, so i hope this is readable enough ! :sweat_smile:


I hope that you’re plugging a USB MIDI keyboard, not the one used for typing! Which model is it?

If you say it doesn’t work with other USB hosts too, it sounds like it may require too much power. Lich can provide 0.5 A and usually that’s enough for most MIDI controllers, but I imagine a large keyboard could be too power hungry.

Obviously, my english wasn’t readable enough ! :rofl:
The Lich’s usb host fonction work like a charm !
But the audio thue usb (as usb microphone) has a constant cycling « bit crusher » like noise !

We’ve seen a ‘clicky’ noise that appears usually every 20-30 seconds, but it sounds like this problem is more severe.

Because the current audio interface is implemented as a USB Synchronous device, there is no synchronisation (on the device side) between the host audio clock and the internal one. This is probably what is causing it.

Another thing I’d suggest to try is to load a very minimal patch, something like the MIDI Modular factory patch (or anything that doesn’t use a lot of CPU). This would rule out the possibility of the processor not keeping up with the extra work of sending USB data.

We’ll be doing more work on this in the near future, and will hopefully have a fully working, bidirectional (and asynchronous), jitter and drop-out free audio interface to present to you soon. Meanwhile thanks for testing it out!

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Ok thanks i will try that ! :nerd_face:
The patch used when testing was about 84% cpu charge !

EDIT: I just tryed with the “Lich Pure data Template” and nothing changed.
I also made a record, here it is:

And I will try with another USB cable soon as possible, because my actual cable is an old USB (USB2 i think, maybe USB1) without the “ferite thing” to avoid EM noises… maybe that will solve it…

EDIT 2: i just tryed with a ferrited USB cable, but nothing change, same noise here. :sweat_smile:

Too bad that the “Industrial Music Electronics” brand is already occupied. So @mars has no alternative other than update USB audio to async device (this is expected to resolve such synchronization issues).

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